Friday, March 27, 2015

Drink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas, and Ciders by Nan K. Chase

Drink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas, and CidersDrink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas, and Ciders by Nan K. Chase
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this book up on a whim from my local library, and fell in love. I've been dabbling with the idea of making my own wine, looking up the occasional how to when I come across a post on pinterest that looks interesting, but this book pushed me over the edge, and I now can't wait to try making my own wines & meads (I'm researching sources of local honey now in preparation!) I discovered wild grapes on my property, and not being a big fan of grape jelly (which is what I made last year), I'd much rather turn them into wine!

The book has gorgeous photographs, is very well laid out, explains all the steps (and most important to me, doesn't just tell you what to do, but explains why doing something this way is so important, so instead of just telling you how to make wine, it educates you). It's a must for any gardener looking for alternate ways to preserving their crops.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 20, 2015

New pattern release: grandpa allan's cowl

grandpa allan's cowl (3)
I'm so excited to tell you about my latest design, Grandpa Allan's Cowl!

My grandfather - Allan - never wore a cowl and I don't remember him wearing a scarf, either, but I couldn't resist naming this cowl after him when I found a simple knit / purl pattern called Alan's Pattern.

This easy to stitch cowl comes in two sizes, 7" by 22" or 10" by 34".

The border is a simple knit and purl pattern, and the cowl goes fast fast fast based on the stockinette stitch center.

Any worsted weight yarn you feel comfortable in blocking will work wonderfully for this design - and there's a matching hat in multiple sizes soon to come! #knitting #cowl  the next knit design

Friday FO

Finished #mittens #handmade #handknit #knitting #knits #blue #thursday
Not much to report on this week!

I finished my scarf - no photos & it's already given away - but I did manage to finish the mitten's for Jon's grandmother.

Unfortunately she now wants a matching hat & I don't have any more of this yarn, so I casted on another pair of mittens using the same pattern but a different yarn / color, so I'll have to muddle through another pair of mittens before I start the hat - she wants a slouchy beret type of hat.

#alzheimers #awareness #alzheimersdisease #scrunchies #crochet #crochetconcupiscenceI'm happy to knit a set for her, though!

My other FO is Scrunchies for Alzheimer's! If you follow me on instagram I've been talking about these a lot lately.

Anyone who knows me or knows my family, know that we are passionate about raising money and awareness for Alzheimer’s -  Disease - last year we raised over $10,000 (I think closer to $13,000) , through a variety of methods, including some of my patterns, the Alzheimer’s blanket I design, make & raffle off, etc. I think this is the fifth or sixth year I've done a blanket and we've been doing fundraising for longer than that.

Scrunched for Alzheimer's This is one of my new ideas for this year - we’re planning on selling at a few flea markets this year & my parents started selling at a co-op, so I am making bunches of scrunchies & 100% of the money goes to Alzheimers.

The plainer ones are $2 & the fancier ones - fun fur, ribbon, etc will be $3.00. I’ll most likely make some beaded ones - no idea on a price for those.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

work in progress Wednesday

a plain, multi directional, scrap knit scarf - something I started on a whim.

one of my favorite knit scarf patterns, I've made this pattern quite a few times for charity knitting

I'm using a magic ball of scraps of acrylic in whites / off white / eggshell, and mostly likely this will be given to charity.

Measures about 6" wide, I'll most likely make this about 6' feet.
#socks #sockmadness #sm9 #socknitting #knitting
sock madness socks, which I sadly ran out of time to finish, so I'm not competing this year :(

For my birthday, I started a seamless, bottom up EPS type of sweater, using superwash Wool of the Andes in this pretty redish color....
I also finally managed to restart Jon's flax....

Monday, March 16, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Heaven's Harlots: My Fifteen Years as a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God Cult by Miriam Williams

Heaven's Harlots: My Fifteen Years as a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God CultHeaven's Harlots: My Fifteen Years as a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God Cult by Miriam Williams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I definitely have a thing for reading memoirs and books about cults - I'm a bit obsessed, truth be told. I was born in 76, and had really only heard of this cult before, but other than the name and that it was a cult, knew nothing at all about it. I prefer autobiographies to memoirs but actually read more memoirs than autobiographies, and this book was the first book I found through interlibrary loan when the time came to read about this cult.

Williams is clearly not an accomplished writer; her book reads very flat. That being said, her life is fascinating. You can clearly tell she's censoring herself a lot, and I do get that, but on the other hand, she was the one who chose to write this book, you can't now only share half your story, and you definitely get the impression that that is what she is doing here.

Her constant, reoccuring theme throughout the book is how she would do absolutely anything to protect her children and claims she finally leaves the cult because of her children, when that's clearly not true. I also really hated the fact that she constantly talks about how much she loves her children (plural) and constantly tries to tell us what she did that made her such a good mother, when in fact she mainly obsesses over her oldest child, and mainly puts him (and her other children) in harm's way, rationalizing that she's in fact exposing them to emotional and psychological abuse. Williams seems more interested in telling us what a good mother she is, then in actually sharing her experiences in a cult.

I also was surprised, when she finally got to how she left the cult, by how she actually left. Without spoiling the book for you, she constantly tells us how she left the cult because she wanted to save her children, when it seems more like she just got left behind. The whole thing reads as a story, and I wonder where the truth actually lies.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My free shawl / scarf patterns on crochetvolution - roundup

Today's round up features my free shawl patterns on crochetvolution! In no particular order....

Sunrise Slip Stitch Shawl (using crocheted slip stitches)


His Textured Scarf (modeled by hubby)

and the matching Her Textured Scarf (triangle shawl)

The most popular of the bunch, Snowdrop!

and the laceweight version of Snowdrop, Summer Drop !

and lastly, my most recent design in Crochetvolution, Firecracker Shawl

Friday, March 6, 2015

Around the Twist afghan- - Friday FO

If you follow me on Instagram (I'm anastaciaknits) then you'll have noticed a lot of photos of this afghan. This has been a long pending design of mine - it's a crochet version of my Around the Twist afghan.

This version doesn't look much like the original knit, I'll grant you that, but it's still based on the original, Around the Twist quilt design.

I had long planned a crochet version of the afghan, but just never got around to it. I didn't know how I wanted to tackle it - I have a stack of swatches of versions of the square - some all single crochet, or single crochet through the back loops only, some seed stitch or linen stitch or, well, you get the idea.

The more I messed with it, the more unhappy I was.

So I left the idea alone for a while, worked on a bunch of other ideas, did some magazine designs, but would lay awake at night, thinking about this quilt pattern that I started obsessing over years ago.
I finally decided not to copy the knit version I designed, but to just copy the quilt idea - once I got to that point, then I felt more comfortable with running with the stitch pattern, and I quickly decided upon using a granny square for the center, and using the "granny stripe" pattern to do the corners.

So I made a stack of squares - after messing with the proportions for a bit - (with more swatches everywhere to drive my husband nuts) - and it sat... for months - through the busy working in the garden every single waking minute when I'm not at work summer, through the crazy canning every section I get because my garden exploded fall, til the even more insane it's CHRISTMAS time & I work in retail STILL winter.... because I didn't know how I wanted to join the squares. I picked up the squares, tried every variation of joining under the sun, I swear, and wasn't happy with any of them.

I really wanted to do the continuous join as you go method, but it's not a joining method for beginners...

I don't know if all designers worry about things like this, but most of my designs are geared towards beginner crocheters - they are also designed for people who just want to make something easy, without a lot of fussing. I love crazy complicated designs - but honestly, I rarely actually want to make something like that, I just want to knit or crochet and enjoy every second of it.... so I try to think of things like joining methods and how to word something.

I finally just decided on the continuous join method, decided to join with chain two spaces and not chain one spaces (as with a traditional granny square), and ran with it.

So here's my finished afghan in all its glory.

What do you think?

Celebrate NatCroMo

I am so excited you are here! I am participating in Crochetville's designer blogging program this month, and I'm so happy you are all visiting my little home! There's LOTS going on this month!

First of all -- I'm having a month long giveaway of any five of my designs! Just enter the rafflecopter on the sidebar over there on the right.

acrylic cowl (4)
Marina Cowl

Next... I'm offering a 40% coupon code for everyone who visits today, March 6, which happens to be my birthday!!!!

Please use coupon code natcromoblog on either my Ravelry or my Etsy shop, and the 40% coupon code is good for TODAY only.... that' s EST... actually, I extended it a few extra hours so if you aren't in my time zone, it gives you a little bit more of a chance. There's a $3.00 / minimum to use the coupon on Etsy, but no minimum on Ravelry, so if you want to buy one of my smaller patterns (like 12" squares) then buy on Ravelry! (I had to set a minimum on Etsy because their fees are a little higher, and with the high coupon code, I won't make any money on a $3 pattern after fees as it is).

Oh, if you like free patterns, go visit my Ravelry shop & filter free patterns... there's a ton of goodies there!

36 on 3-6 (6)
36 on 3-6

I also posted a FREE pattern called the Marina Cowl.... the pattern is written for worsted weight yarn, for two sizes - a 20" or a 28" circumference, but it also comes with a recipe / template so you can make the cowl any size, with any gauge !

And speaking of free, my birthday shawl, 36 on 3-6, is free for the month on Ravelry only!

No coupon code needed - just "buy" and the shawl will be free when you check out!

(by the way, if you've been thinking about setting up an Etsy Shop of your own, use my referral link & you'll get 40 free listings!

If you happen to miss the 40% coupon, the rest of the month the patterns are on sale for 20% off- use coupon code natcromoblog20

While you are here, I'd love it if you checked out some of my other fun crochet stuff! Please check out my pinterest board (again on the sidebar on the right) or follow me on pinterest as anastaciaknits !

How I Became a Crochet Designer and part two, Behind the Scenes
Free Granny Square Round Up!

and in a few days, I'll be posting another crochet pattern round up, so come back soon & visit me, please :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

February 2015 video: my month in photos

A few months ago, I started sharing a video of "my month in photos" and it's become a regular feature around here! A lot of hte photos I've posted on instagram or facebook, but I throw in more personal photos in the bunch, too.

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday

Welcome To March Wordless Wednesday

A New Month, with New Co-Hosts who were excited to share with you a post from t blogs this week. We have worked hard to put together a fun party with an array of recipes, crafts, projects and more. We had 251 entries in our Linky last week.

If you missed the great links you can find them here. Now please join in the fun and visit and comment on each of our hosts to show you care about a fellow blogger.

Join Us as a Co-Host For April Signup Now!!! :❢:❢:❢:❢:⇒Details Here⇐:❢:❢:❢:❢:

Welcome Our Co-Hosts For MarchMarch Oh My Heartsie Girl's Wordless WednesdayMini-Guest-Posts-from-Our-Co-Hosts
Karren Haller Host Wordless Wednesday 

Please Follow Karren Host~Oh My Heartsie Girl Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Tumbler | Pinterest | Instagram Would Love The Follow On Bloglovin

Amanda-The Chunky Chef 

Asian Beef with Sugar Snap Peas Hey everyone! I'm so excited to be here :D Here's one of my favorite meals to make for my family, no matter what night of the week. Tender beef and crisp snap peas are coated in a deliciously savory sauce, and it's so easy to make... I know you'll love it! Co-Host Amanda The Chunky Chef Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Bloglovin 

Divider Lysa Wilds Welcome To My Circus 

The Sideshow Scene 2 with Janice Wald from Reflections The Sideshow is Welcome to My Circus' NEW Guest Blogger Series. This post is from the second week, Scene 2 with Janice Wald from Reflections. In this post Janice shares tips on how to BOOST your blog traffic with Pinterest. Co-Host Lysa Wilds Welcome to My Circus Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Bloglovin 

Divider Coupon Diva-Quick 30 Minute Meals Baked Chili Salmon 

Quick 30 Minute Meals: Baked Chili Salmon Ditch the expense of takeout with this super-simple slow cooker better than takeout beef and broccoli recipe. Co-Host Freda Coupon Diva Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Instagram Divider 
Julie In The Making-Skincerity Product Review Co-Host Julie Julie in the Making Julie has written a product review about Skincerity and wants you to know her point of view on this product after trying it herself. Skincerity Review Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Instagram

Divider Anastasia Knits Designs

ME!! The Marina Cowl is a quick and easy crochet pattern anyone can do, using just a couple of stitches! I was SUPPOSED to publish it last year in time for Christmas, but with one thing and another, it didn't happen.
There are two parts to this pattern: a traditionally written pattern for worsted weight yarn in two different sizes - a 20" or a 28" circumference -OR a recipe / pattern template, to make the cowl OR anything else you'd like made in the round (like legwarmers, boot cuffs, or simple fingerless gloves) with any yarn, using any size hook in any gauge & in any finished size! About a month ago, I decided I'd post the pattern for NatCroMo, so here it is! 

Co-Host Anastacia for Anastacia Knits Designs

On Bliss Street Erica 

Floating shelves are an easy and beautiful way to change the entire look of your space. Luckily, they don’t have to cost a mint and only take an afternoon to build. Here is a simple tutorial to show anyone how to create more storage and a gorgeous statement for their home. Co-Host Erica On Bliss Street Floating Shelves Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Instagram
Divider Renovar Design 

All About Organization Blog Hop This week I am featuring a blog hop with a great collection of organizational ideas for you home. Co-Host Jenny Renovar Design Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Instagram Divider Simply Wright When your child does not turnout the way

Wright Simply Ashleigh talks about how she pictured motherhood and her first child, and the reality that followed after the birth of her daughter. Was it what she had imagined? I'm sure most parents can relate. When Your Child Does Not Turn Out The Way You Pictured Co-Host Ashleigh Simply Wright Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin Divider A peek into my paradise-Breakfast Tacos 

Yes. I know it’s February. The christmas tree has been put away for a few months now. We have celebrated New Years Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Martin Luther King Day, President Day, Valentines Day and the sheer celebration of waking up every morning and being vertical! Sure beats the alternative! 
Breakfast Tacos Co-Host Cathy
Oh My Heartsie Girls WW
The Rules And Etiquette For The Party Are Simple
~ Please follow the Host and Co-Host on at least 1 of their Social Media
~ We invite you to visit the Co-Hosts as they would really appreciate it
~ NO adult content please (They will be deleted ……of course)
~ Grab our banner for your side bar, or link back in your WW post.
Wait Before Your Add Your Link would you be interested in
Co-Hosting In April Or Be A Sponsor? A Great Way To Build A Following,
If You Would Like To Be Notified When Parties Go Live
$60.00 PayPal

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...